The Concavenator is a reliably newly discovered addition to the dinosaur kingdom. Found in Spain this dinosaur had a number of specific features that makes it truly unique.
Living in the early Cretaceous period, around 130 million years ago, Concav, as we are now going to refer to them, was a medium-sized meat-eating dinosaur. A fully grown adult would have been roughly 20 feet long and weighed in at around 2 to 3 tons. Concav's were part of the carcharondontosaurian family, which is not the easiest word to pronounce.
Concav, had two standout features which have generated a lot of interest from experts around the world. The first was the two unusual vertebrae in front of their hips which would have looked like a small pointed crest and it has been suggested that this would have supported a large hump. Typically for dinosaur recreations there has been alternative theories as to the purpose of the crest / hump. The standard views are that this was used as a display feature in courtship, with the potential of multiple colors shimmering on a sail, or that it was in fact used to simply regulate body temperature. The second, and sometimes more important feature of this dinosaur was the amazing structures on their forearm's that resemblance quill knobs.
Quill knobs are usually associated with birds, however some theropods, such as Velociraptor also shared these structures and it is theorized, and generally accepted, that such dinosaurs were the distant relationships to modern-day birds. It's important to note that most dinosaurs died out in a probable meteorite hit to the earth, which means Tyrannosaurus Rex along with many other dinosaurs are not related to modern-day birds. Until Concavinator was found it was not known that dinosaurs from that distant period had such features and it could mean that the evolution of dinosaur to bird started a lot earlier than previously thought. There is a lot of skepticism with regard to this theory and many experts believe these structures were in fact not quill knobs, however there has not yet been a proper analysis to support one theory or the other.
Concavenator has surprised many experts and it only goes to prove how little we have yet to learn about dinosaurs. There are some great images of Concav recreations which can be found in dinosaur books and on-line. The brand Safari has created a brilliant model that is worth a look.
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